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As a professional who profiles all active shooters in the U.S., I would suggest that “Red Flag Laws,” are generally not the problem. It’s the human assets, the “so-called board-certified” professionals who are incompetent in assessing those with clear mental health issues. These mental health psychologists either release them the same day they are involuntarily committed by law enforcement for a 72-hour psychiatric assessment or release them in the field once law enforcement leaves.
We have plenty of restrictive gun laws on the books. What we don’t have is mandated processes for “mandatory reporters” including law enforcement to document these ticking time bombs into the NCIC tracking system so they are denied gun ownership. That’s what happened in this case, in the Devon Kelly, the Sutherland Baptist Church (TX) mass murder, in the Fort Hood (TX) terrorist incident, and in many others, I have reviewed.
This killer was clearly mentally unstable. He was homicidal-suicidal. Police had confiscated 16 edged weapons from his home in 2019 following a complaint that he was homicidal/suicidal. Mental health professionals were called and released him quickly in the field after an “assessment.” Police had been to his home on prior occasions. NO follow-up, NO social media checks for violent posts of which there were many.
Parents and relatives are often a problem and obstruct LE’s ability to involuntarily commit ticking time bombs. In the Highland Park case, the subject’s parents told officers “he was better now.” The officers left without assessing. When the subject came of adult age, his father co-signed FOUR TIMES for his gun purchases. Since he had never been entered into the system by law enforcement and mental health, he PASSED four background ATF checks. That should have never happened.
The mother of the mentally ill Sandy Hook mass shooter straw purchased an AR-15 for her son, who then killed her and over 20 kids and adults before committing suicide. There is a definite theme here.
Red Flag laws are only as good as the human element you source the system with. Dysfunctional politicians use meaningless, emotionally reactive word salads to express their “outrage,” but in reality, don’t have the slightest bit of common sense to change this violent paradigm.
Our atrocious mental health system could be fixed if there was true bipartisanship and consensus between the legislature and our courts to place ticking time bombs into psychiatric hospitals for treatment. But they won’t.
The news media could accurately portray the real problems with our systems. But they won’t.
Instead, they enable and empower gun-grab politicians who want to disarm law-abiding Americans of their guns.
We could put a huge dent in our nation’s gun violence problem if dysfunctional politicians and our horrible “race goggles” so-called “justice” system worked together to support law enforcement, instead of distancing, defunding, and dissolving successful programs such as stop & frisk and prosecuting violent felony recidivists. Instead, they replace our safety programs with zero bails and de-carceration, progressive alliance DA’s, and activist judges.
Nationally, 54% of homicides are never solved. That’s great news for killers. Why is that you ask? It’s not rocket science friends…
The law enforcement community is suffering the greatest losses of officers ever. Low morale, retirements at 20 years, instead of 25-30 years, early disability retirements, officers leaving for cities who appreciate them, and officers leaving early for other careers, create a huge void in hiring and experience. Departments literally cannot find enough new officers to staff an academy, investigation divisions like homicide and sexual assault units go unmanned and the public doesn’t cooperate with investigators.
This problem took years to transpire and no one did anything to stop it. In fact, BLM, dysfunctional politicians and complicit media enabled and empowered it.
You reap what you sow. Is it 2024 yet?
About the author:
Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V, is a nationally renowned forensic criminologist and retired police detective with the San Jose (CA) Police Department. Dr. Martinelli directs the nation’s only Forensic Death Investigations & Independent Review Team and is the author of the new book, “The Truth Behind the Black Lives Matter Movement and the War on Police.”
The Show: A Thread of Evidence deals with real crime stories, their victims, violators, cops, and forensic investigators who solve those crimes and bring the bad guys to justice. Go out onto the mean streets, visit the crime scenes and work in the forensic lab with your host nationally renowned forensic criminologist and investigator.
Dr. Martinelli is also the author of the Amazon best-selling books, “The Truth Behind the BLM and the War on Police,” and the Wade Justus Texas Ranger mystery thriller series.
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